Novel Play Experiences for Android Gamers 2023
What would you suppose is the most popular gaming system in the world today? You may be forgiven for thinking it must be a PlayStation – if not the newest version, then an older model that has had the chance to sell more widely. Or may suppose that, in fact, PC gaming comes out on top. After all, laptops and PCs are incredibly commonplace in the modern world.
But, in fact, neither of these take the top spot – at least, not anymore. In 2023, the top gaming system is, in fact, the smartphone. Specifically, Android smartphones, which make up around 75% of the world’s six and a half billion devices in use today.
When smartphones really began to take off in the latter years of the 00s, they introduced whole new demographics to the delights of gaming. Many of these people would never have considered purchasing some dedicated gaming hardware, or even check whether their laptop has the specs necessary to run a modern triple-A game. Smartphones swept all this friction away, and won over many people with their easy installations and casual gameplay offerings.
Nowadays there’s around 1 million games available in the Google Play Store – an unprecedented degree of choice. But this number alone belies the fact that many of these games are mere knock-offs and clones of more successful titles. That’s not a problem if you happen to know which game is the diamond in the rough, but this can become increasingly tricky with so many other titles crowding the field.
Ultimately, while the Google Play Store offers an incredible array of titles to play, adventurous gamers may want, or need, to look elsewhere to make the most of gaming on their smartphones. Certain game genres, for example, are underrepresented on the official app store, requiring gamers to get creative and strike out into the open internet to secure what they’re looking for. Elsewhere, privacy concerns can equally serve as motivation for people to make the most of Android’s customization features to take the devices’ playing potential into their own hands.
Before the arrival of apps, browser gaming was the best and most popular way to play games on mobile devices. Legacy websites from their heyday, such as Newgrounds and Kongregate, still exist and serve as rich resources for users looking for retro thrills from the days of Macromedia Flash.
Though browser gaming isn’t just a nostalgia trip. HTML5 has proven incredibly flexible and up to the task of offering complete triple-A games from within our browsers. What’s more, the advent of cloud gaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming means that you can theoretically play Forza Horizon 5 or Halo: Infinite right from your mobile chrome browser, providing you’ve got a stable enough internet connection to handle it.
All of this goes without mentioning that certain game genres, such as iGaming and online casinos, are unrepresented and provided for on the official Play Store. The best place to enjoy these immensely popular digital table titles and slots games is through reputable browser-based platforms. Fortunately, there exists a veritable cottage industry of resources committed to providing prospective patrons with competitive welcome bonuses and comprehensive directories of the best online casinos available for gaming on Android today.
Another reason that many Android gamers are ditching the Play Store for pastures new is over privacy concerns. The Google Play Store is what’s known as a closed-source software library. This means that the source-code of individual apps is protected intellectual property, and cannot be reviewed or edited by the end-user. This is normal with premium software, but it does mean that you have no way of definitively knowing whether the app or game you just downloaded includes spyware or viruses.
For many people, this is a reasonable risk. But for others, a focus on privacy is paramount, especially in our increasingly data-driven world that has put a spotlight on cybersecurity, especially in the wake of a spate of high-profile ransomware attacks.
Fortunately, alternatives to the Play Store exist for the privacy conscious. The best of these is, without a doubt, F-Droid. This is an open-source and free software directory (FOSS) of apps and games for Android users to peruse.
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